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Progressives must define the basic income we want

Until recently, Canadian austerity proponents have not paid a lot of attention to basic income. But now that governments are taking it up, things are changing. The one influential study from the right, the Fraser Institute Report (January 2015), has become a major resource for conservative policy analysts appearing in the media these days. They are repeatedly defining basic income ... Read More »

John A. Macdonald would have supported a Basic Income policy

If there’s one thing Prime Minister John A. Macdonald could do exceptionally well, it was to recognize where the political winds were blowing. That’s not a criticism. The most able of politicians help move societies where they actually want to go anyway. Leaders and governments merely ensure a smooth transition, if they are doing their jobs well. As we get ... Read More »

Our most basic needs in society surely includes money

For too many years Canada has danced around what is perhaps the central issue in social policy development. What are the most basic needs of Canadian citizens? If one were to read a recent report from the Mowat Centre called Working Without a Net: Rethinking Canada’s Social Policy in the New Age of Work one wouldn’t think it was money. ... Read More »

Orange the world in support of ending gender-based violence

Over the years my wardrobe has expanded to include a purple skirt, several purple blouses, dresses, pants, amethyst jewellery, and of course scarves. November 1st each year I light up my porch with strings of purple mini lights. I do this to draw attention to the fact that November is Woman Abuse Prevention month in Ontario. But, on Friday, November ... Read More »

Gendered violence for indigenous women involves multiple oppressions

Purple is a colour that calms the mind and nerves; offers a sense of spirituality; and encourages creativity. It’s also the colour of courage. Purple embodies the ingredients necessary to move a woman from a place of fear to one of empowerment. November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario, a time to shine a purple light on gendered violence. ... Read More »

World Food Day: 12 ways to end hunger, including basic income

October 16 is World Food Day. First observed in 1979, World Food Day honours the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada. This year’s theme, Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too, builds upon the FAO’s vision of achieving food security for all through regular access to ... Read More »

Has neoliberalism imperiled our health? Could Basic Income serve as remedy?

In a recent 2015 paper, Ronald Labonte and David Stuckler argue that the rise of neoliberalism has led to bad economics which in turn has imperiled population health. They argue that cuts to health and social protection systems under neoliberal nations (like Canada and the US) pose major health risks. As well, structural changes to a new globalized labour market ... Read More »

Children living on reserves deserve same services as other Canadian children

Alanis Obomsawin’s powerful documentary, We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice,’ debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.  The film chronicles the nine year legal battle initiated by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) against the Harper government. In 2007, the FNCFCS and the AFN filed ... Read More »

Basic income: An indispensable social safety net

Part Two If we hadn’t innovated in the past with respect to our social policy, we would have no Canada Pension Plan. We would have no Employment Insurance. We would have no Guaranteed Income Supplement. These safety nets of our present were unaffordable in our past according to their critics at the time. Often, what we say is unaffordable is ... Read More »